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Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), Space Shuttle Ferry, NASA Space Shuttle Carrier, Boeing 747-100
- During the Space Shuttle era NASA used two modified Boeing 747 jetliners as Space Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA). One is a 747-100 model, while the other is designated a 747-100SR (short range). The two aircraft are identical in appearance and in their performance as Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. These two aircraft were originally manufactured for commercial airline use.
The SCAs were used to ferry space shuttle orbiters from landing sites back to the launch complex at the Kennedy Space Center, and also to and from other locations too distant for the orbiters to be delivered by ground transportation. The orbiters were placed atop the SCAs by Mate-Demate Devices, large gantry-like structures which hoisted the orbiters off the ground for post-flight servicing, and then mate them with the SCAs for shuttle ferry flights.
After the last shuttle ferry flight in 2012, NASA 905 returns to Dryden, where it joins the other SCA NASA 911 into retirement, These two aircraft will slowly be used as parts donors for NASA's SOFIA airborne astronomical observatory.
Boeing 747, B-747, Widebody, Twin Aisle, Fanjet, Jetliner, Jumbo Jet, Giant, Four Engine, Long Range, Fixed wing multi engine, Turbofan, wide-body, Space Shuttle, Spaceship, Reusable spacecraft, Vehicle, Science, Aerospace